Late Summer Garden at Minnesota State Fair

Be sure to visit the MSHS display garden at the Minnesota State Fair, which opens Thursday. We will have our educational and retail booths in the Horticulture Building and our display garden right out front near the corner of Underwood and Judson Avenue. This gorgeous late summer garden features native plants as well as nonnative,…

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What's Blooming? Lots of Phlox

Here’s the long and the short about phlox: There are two basic kinds and while they come from the same genus, they are very different. Creeping phlox (technically it is Phlox subulata) is a groundcover that blooms in spring. It’s one of the earliest perennials to bloom in Minnesota, and is a bright spot in…

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Finding the Best Plants for the Midwest

Each year, dozens—maybe hundreds—of new plant varieties are introduced by breeders and plant wholesalers worldwide. It’s tough to figure out which are the best plants for the Midwest, especially when our climate is as challenging and changing as it has been recently. Fortunately, there are trial gardens, places where universities, botanical gardens, garden centers and…

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Have You Tried Variegated Solomon's Seal?

Each year, the Perennial Plant Association names its plant of the year, and this year’s plant is a beautiful foliage plant for shade, Variegated Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’). It’s a lovely plant with 1- to 2-foot-long arching stems, bright green leaves and an architectural look. the Northern Gardener horticultural editor, Debbie Lonnee, says, “This…

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New Hydrangeas for 2013 (and Beyond!)

The highlight of the annual MSHS Spring at the Inn event (other than meeting and talking with fellow gardeners) was seeing some of the new introductions from Bailey Nurseries Inc. during the plant fashion show. The show included a variety of new plants from honeyberries for fruit lovers to new types of impatiens, calibrachoa and…

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Why Buy Summer Bulbs Now?

Each year, MSHS sells lily bulbs, hosta and dahlia tubers and other summer-blooming plants at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show. The show opens Wednesday and the bulbs and tubers will be in Room 103, outside of the main home show floor, along with the Garden Theater, where MSHS brings in expert speakers on everything…

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30 Great Plants for Northern Gardens: The Complete List

One of the MSHS Facebook fans requested that we put up a list of all the 30 great plants for northern gardens that we profiled in November. The list is below, but one thing we realized in working through this month of great plants is how many wonderful options we northern gardeners have. Which of…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 30, Heuchera

Whew! We’ve made it through the month of November identifying 30 (actually a few more than that) great plants for northern gardens. We’ll finish up with a wonderful perennial to grow for its foliage — coral bells or Heuchera. Like coneflower, heuchera has been the subject of a lot of breeding work, resulting in dozens of…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 29, Globe Flower

Globe flower (Trollius) is one of my favorite garden perennials because of its adaptability. It grows well in both part shade and sunny borders, and though it prefers relatively moist soil conditions and is often recommended for pond or stream-side sites, or poorly draining clay soils, it also adapts well to sandy, well-draining soil as…

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Best Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 28 — Hydrangea

By midsummer, many of the flowering shrubs in the northern garden have finished their show. The lilacs, azaleas, spirea and fruit shrubs have mostly settled down for the season. This is when hydrangeas shine, adding brightness and big puffs of bloom to gardens. Those blooms later turn brown, but they continue to add beauty to…

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